Archive for the 'grant morrison' Category

20
Aug
08

Batman #679

Written by Grant Morrison

Art by Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea and cover by Alex Ross

Part four of Batman: R.I.P. really heats up and brings the reader in by not making any fucking sense.  I have to say, for an issue where I was thinking to myself, “have I ever read an issue of Batman before?”, it was pretty good.  Only Grant Morrison can make you think you don’t know what’s going on when you’ve been consecutively reading Batman for three years without missing a single issue.  It might be because there are so many references to Batman plot lines from 35 years ago, it might be because suddenly Batman is in a purple costume, criminals have taken over the batcave, Alfred might actually be Bruce’s father but probably not, Nightwing is in Arkham asylum, you know, the little things.  Morrison brings the WTF by making huge, impacting situations occur off screen and then mildly referencing them, like when the Bush administration pretends like dumping an olympic size swimming pool of water down a guy’s throat because he was guilty of being Arabic on a Thursday afternoon is something that just happens, like when you take a shit and forget to flush because that article in Variety about Angelina Jolie’s kid was THAT good.

I tend to get sidetracked.  And yes, I will still defend Morrison to every fuckwit von douche who thinks Paul Dini is doing a better job doing Batman stories that accomplish nothing new.  Dini is writing vanilla sex in Detective, Morrison is doing a reach around on PCP, mushrooms, a handful of MDMA with help from a guy in a Godzilla suit, three chimps, four employees of the Jim Rose Circus and Phyllis Diller blown out of her mind of illegal Japanese pain killers with a David Lynch movie blaring in the background.  Morrison is sometimes confusing and the situation is risky but you know Godzilla has that healing love touch.

13
Aug
08

the pile for August, week 2

Of the several hundred comics coming out today, tomorrow I’ll be picking up the following, as they’ve conveniently been pulled for me by my local comic shop:

Action Comics #867

Batman #679

Final Crisis Revelations #1

Gen13 #21

Green Lantern Corps #27

Simon Dark #11

Trinity #11

Wonder Woman #23

Astonishing X-Men #26

 

I’m actually quite surprised to see that, in a little more than a year, I’ve gone from buying virtually all marvel comics to buying a vast majority of DC comics(though this week is not entirely indicative of my average buying, but DC or indies usually are the majority of my weekly books), over 90%.  

Green Lantern Corps is my newest addition to my pull list, this being my first week sans a massive GL/GL Corps buying spree of back issues(which has unfortunately left me with huge gaping holes in the runs of both books), and I’m not entirely sure I can even begin to read the book yet, but I find myself rather excited about it.  The Lantern books seem to be building on a massive and highly motivated mythology that are incredibly accessible to new readers, yet seem to genuinely entertain veteran fans of the franchise as well.

Of those issues being pulled, Simon Dark is in danger of cancellation, not because it’s not good, but because I’ve entered a stage of my life where I can wait for most books to come out in trade paperbacks, buy them at a discount and generally save $30 a year that way, while focusing that money on more important things that would make my life generally more enjoyable or on other books that are more deserving/in need of monthly buyers.  Generally speaking, I’m a Steve Niles fan, especially when it comes to his horror stories.  30 Days of Night was a book that really captivated me two years ago and lately he’s been churning out great serials for IDW Publishing.  It’s just hard to decide if it’s worth the money and effort to keep up with a book that is, at best, incredibly okay.

Which brings me to Welcome to Hoxford, which is Ben Templesmith’s newest mini-series for IDW Publishing.  It looks to be a horror book and I honestly can’t remember if I added this to my list or not, as I’ve missed many issues of previews over the past year and have only really gotten my shit back to manageable as of late.  I still haven’t decided if I want to buy it as it comes out or if I’d like to wait until it comes out in a TPB, which IDW are pretty good at pumping out at a pretty good rate.  I’ll probably end up thumbing through it in the shop and decided then and there.  The same goes for Mercy Sparx, a new min-series from a small publisher which I cannot recall the name of.  The 0 issues is only a dollar, so I’ll probably check it out, it looks promising anyways and I love a cheap jump on.

Trinity.  Oh, shitty Trinity.  I’ve put in my cancellation on this wretched semen dumpster of vile, unloveable waste but I’m waiting for the issues I signed up for to run out.  Unfortunately, I think that means I’ll be getting these issues for another two months. Once those two months are up, you can find all the issues I’ve been unfortunate enough to get on Ebay.

Indiscriminate shit-talking aside, I’m excited as hell about all of those DC books and I’m glad to see Gen13 back WITHOUT an unnecessary 0282029394303th #1 relaunch.  I felt really strongly about Gail Simone’s work on the title, as she’s a phenomenal character writer, and Simon Oliver’s run was good, not great, but good.  I’ll be curious to see who’s doing this new run in the Wildstorm Apocalypse timeline.  I’m very interested in the apocalypse, in seeing people get together and try to get through the day, to try to make things lieable as best they can and thus far, I’ve enjoyed the Wildcats and Authority issues to come out of Armageddon.  I believe this entire thing is being orchestrated by the usually crafty Christos Gage, who’s had a serious impact on Wildstorm over the past year, so they may actually be able to pull this thing off.  Two years ago a Wildcats and Authority #1 came out with the promise of a great universe shake-up for the entire imprint and those two titles never went anywhere and the strong starts that came out of the relaunch were diverted by too many creative team changes.  It’s sad to know that, no matter how hard Gage and company try to make this work, DC will probably find some way to derail it when they start doing a good job.

I haven’t been able to come up with a rason why I’m not hostile towards Final Crisis and all of it’s spin offs and such, but I’m not.  It might be because I have a raging hard on for Morrison’s DC/Vertigo mythologies, or perhaps I just love the way comic book critics seem to be utterly terrified of him bringing real literacy into the operation.  On thing I will say, which is not an original thought, but something my comic shop owner interjected into the conversation last week, is that these spin-offs have all of my favorite writers – Greg Rucka, Geoff Johns and all those guys – writing stories in which the plots have been dictated by one of my favorite writers(Morrison) and I really don’t know how I feel about that or how the delivery will come out in the end.  Essentially, if it’s not very good, I will have no choice but to feel disappointed in someone I take a lot of pride in recommending to lots of innocent people.

And finally, there are apparently bad reviews out for Astonishing X-Men #26, by Warren Ellis.  Thus far the reviews I’ve read are by people who seem to have artificially powered erections for the x-men franchise, who aren’t really people at all, but artificial lifeforms powered by old disregarded meat and that weird fluid that flows out of old potatoes that you leave in the cupboard too long.  I guess I’m saying I’m entirely unphased.  Ellis is a very good science fiction writer and Bianchi’s artwork thus far has been nothing short of fantastic.  If x-men fans hate it, the books is probably pretty fucking good.

26
Aug
07

Batman #667 & 668

Written by Grant Morrison

Art by J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart

DC Comics $2.99 

Grant Morrison has made a name for himself in mainstream comic books by taking old ideas that many people have forgotten about, revamping them, exploring old characters and concepts and making them very VERY relevant and fresh to the modern reader.  I’ve noticed that there are a few creators who are interested in old ideas who make them incredibly interesting again.  Alex Ross would obviously be an easy name to come up with when talking about old ideas being recreated.  Morrison’s work on Batman is no different, as far as resurrections of the past, than his work with Uncle Sam or Metal Men.  It’s different, great and pretty fucking entertaining.

Revisiting the Batmen of all nations in what would seem like a weekend getaway for Batman, Robin and a handful of “second rate wannabe Batmen” as Robin put it, Morrison turns this three part arc into a murder mystery weekend with a bunch of incompetent heroes who are past their prime and incredibly suspicious of each other.  It’s incredibly entertaining to see all of the various Batmen from different countries and how some of them resent Batman’s success, but they all have to work together, as they’re trapped on an island with a murderer on the loose.

Williams’ work is immediately satisfying and only gets better upon multiple viewings.  He’s particularly successful at rendering costumes that look like cloth, instead of the weird porno-spray painted bodies that usually dominate superhero comics.  He has a firm grasp on shadows and dark/light balances, which is great because most of this story takes place at night in a big mansion full of old relics and costumes.

Meanwhile, boring comic book nerds everywhere are crying because this story doesn’t have any typical villains and its’ not formulaic enough.  I think it’s fantastic and I think I see where this is leading and if Morrison is planning on a big family get together, it’s going to be one hell of a summer-ending arc.  I’ll also be excited if they keep cranking out two issues a month like this, it’s great for a manic reader like myself.

20
Aug
07

Metal Men #1 of 8

Written by Duncan Rouleau

Art and Cover by Rouleau

DC Comics $2.99 

Metal Men Cover

This was recommended to me by my comic shop owner and, though I’d never heard of it and wasn’t familiar with the concept or characters, I really liked this first issue.  This article does a pretty good job of catching one up.  So Dr. Magnus wants to be a successful scientist and he has some great ideas involving the time stream and alternative physics, but his robotic assistants get much more attention than the ideas he’s actually interested in.  I like the concept of the unhappy, unappreciated scientist whose creations, which are made to help him, actually turn out to be a major problem.

The comic features seven robots, all fashioned after different metals, who have differing personalities and make up a sort of super team.  A rival team of robots is, of course, trying to destroy the world and Magnus is at odds with his creations.  Overall, it’s enough conflict and characterization to make the story interesting.

I’ll definitely keep reading.  The art is great and mildly cartoonish, which is a nice change for a DC book, and the writing is entertaining, not trying too hard to be funny or serious.  I’d pick it up if I were you.

11
Aug
07

Batman #666

Written by Grant Morrison

Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang

DC Comics $2.99 

7290_400x600.jpg

You have to give credit to Grant Morrison for doing what he thinks is good for the story, despite how out there it seems.  I can’t imagine trying to pitch this idea to DC.  15 years from now Bruce Wayne has been murdered, Barbra Gordon is the commissioner of police and wheelchair bound, Damien Wayne has taken up the mask of Batman to avenge his father and rebel against his plotting mother and there are a series of other Batman, one of who is likely to be Dick Grayson, who MAY have killed Bruce Wayne, and the clock is ticking down to armageddon.  And they bought it.

I really liked this, it was a blast to read, it looked great and it has the set up to be an epic story in a not too distant future.  But there’s no clear idea where the story will pick back up.  Next issue starts the Batman of all nations three part story, so I hope this wasn’t a well-thought one shot about the end of days to coincide with the adorable issue number.  It was really good, but I hope Morrison actually does something with this, or else it would be a serious waste of effort and a good idea.  I had hoped that the entire Batman and son storyline was a lot bigger than those four issues.

08
Aug
07

The Martian Manhunter: The Others Among Us TPB

Written by A.J. Lieberman

Art and Cover by Al Barrionuevo

DC Comics $19.99
7470_400x600.jpg

Collecting the entire 8 issue mini-series, “The Others Among Us”, this trade is a great read and served as a good introduction to the Martian Manhunter to me last year. Though it has no additional features, the 208 page trade collects everything you need to know about this great series written by A.J. Lieberman with help from Grant Morrison and, if you didn’t grab the mini-series, as DC did so many of them this past year, it’s a great way to get the full story.

In this series, the manhunter realizes a group of other Martians, though he has believed his entire life that he was the last surviving member of his race, on earth. There’s an interesting dialog throughout the series about what it means to be the last member of a race on an alien planet and how that would affect your entire personality. It is revealed that the manhunter has been using his psychic abilities to make himself appear more human to everyone, but when he discovers he’s no longer the only one, he stops trying to conform. I thought this was one of the most interesting aspects of the entire series, because it’s such a unique look, similar to that of the Superman story, but it rejects the conformity that the Kent character bends to.

The main focus of the story revolves around manhunter breaking out the aliens, a conspiracy to cover them up and the rebellion and hatred directed towards manhunter by the newly discovered Martians because he’s conformed to humanity’s demands. The manhunter’s assistance in breaking out the martians leads to an interesting conflict and stand off with key members of the Justice League, leading manhunter to feel even more alien and misunderstood. This all changes and causes him much shame what the Martians attack him, blame him for their problems and continually try to kill him, leading him to feel guilty for not trusting Clark and automatically trusting people who share his race instead of his friends on Earth, who he has known much longer.

In the end, this series is more about allegiance, isolationism and government conspiracies more than it is about superheroes or aliens, really, and for that, it is better than most superhero comics.

04
Aug
07

New comics for August 03, 2007

I’m a week and a half behind, so this week I ended up picking up quite the pile. I was glad to see so many great issues in my pile this go around. I was particularly excited about walking dead, which is already reviewed, batman, dark tower and JLA. I’ll be putting up several reviews per day and working my way through my pile over the next several days.

Action Comics #853 – Kurt Busiek(w), Brand Walker, Livesay, Lee Loughridge(a)
Batman #666 – Grant Morrison(w), Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang(a)
Black Panther #29 – Reginald Hudlin(w), Francias Portela and Val Staples(a) Arthur Suydam(c)
Black Summer #1 of 7 – Warren Ellis(w), Juan Jose Ryp(a)
Chronicles of Wormwood #6 of 6 – Garth Ennis(w), Jacen Burrows(a)
Countdown #39 & 40 – Paul Dini, McKeever(w), Jim Calafiore and Jay Leigten(a)
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #7 of 7 – Peter David and Robin Furth(w), Jae Lee and Richard Isanove(a)
Deathblow #6 – Brian Azzarello(w), Carlos D’Anda, Henry Flint(a)
Fallen Angel #18 – Peter David(w) and J.K. Woodward(a)
Futurama # 32 – Ian Boothby(w), Mike Kazaleh and Andrew Pepoy(a)
Grimm Fairy Tales #16 – Ralph Tedesco and Joe Tyler(w), Andrew Magnum and Roland Salvidor(a)
Justice Society of America #8 – Geoff Johns(w), Fernando Pasarin and Rodney Ramos(a)
Metal Men #1 of 8 – Duncan Roleau(a & w)
Midnighter #10 – Keith Giffen(w), Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Randy Mayor(a)
Raise the Dead #4 of 4 – Leah Moore and John Reppion(w), Hugo Petrus, Marc Rueda and Ivan Nunes(a)
Speak of the Devil #1 of 6 – Gilbert Hernandez(Spider-Man Fairy Tales #3 of 4 – C.B. Cebulski(w), Kei Kobayashi, Christina Strain(a)
Star Trek: Klingons Blood Will Tell #4 – Scott and David Tipton(w), David Messina and Elaina Casagrande(a)
Star Trek: Year Four #1 – David Tischman(w), Steve Conley, Leonard O’Grady(a)
Uncanny X-Men #489 – Ed Brubaker(w), Mike Perkins and Andrew Hennessey(a)
Unholy Union #1 – Ron Marz(w), Michael Broussard(a)
Walking Dead #39 – Robert Kirkman(w), Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn(a)
Welcome to Tranquility #9 – Gail Simone(w), Neil Googe(a)
Wetworks #11 – J.M. Dematteis(w), Joel Gomez and Trevor Scott(a)
World War Hulk #3 – Greg Pak(w), John Romita Jr, Janson, Strain(a)
World War Hulk: Ironman #20 – Christos Gage(w), Butch Guice, Dean White and Gerald Parel(a)
World War Hulk: The Incredible Hulk #108 – Greg Pak(w), Leonard Kirk, Scott Hanna and Chris Sotomayor(a)
World War Hulk: The Irredeemable Ant-Man #10 – Robert Kirkman(w), Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Bill Crabtree and Val Staples(a)
X-Men #201 – Mike Cary(w), Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas and Edgar Delgado(a)